Arkansas poverty rate 8th highest, median household income 3rd lowest

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 713 views 

The percentage of Arkansas residents living in poverty is the eighth highest in the nation, while median household income in the state is the third lowest in the United States, according to the Arkansas Economic Development Institute. The institute based this on recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The data shows 16.3%, or 487,800 residents, are living in poverty in Arkansas, compared to 13.4% in the United States. The percentage of children ages 0-4 living in poverty in the state is 24.8%, or 46,661 residents, and the percentage for young adults ages 5-17 living in poverty is 21.2%, or 106,559 residents.

The median household income is $45,916 in the state, compared to $60,336 in the United States, according to the Census Bureau. Median household income is lower in Mississippi and West Virginia. Benton and Saline counties, with median household incomes of $64,728 and $61,384, respectively, were the only counties in Arkansas with a median household income that exceeded the U.S. average. After them, the following counties had the next highest median household income: Grant, Lonoke, Pulaski and Faulkner. The counties with the lowest median household income, ranging from $30,599 and $34,856, included Chicot, St. Francis, Searcy, Lee and Phillips.

Five of the 75 counties in Arkansas have a lower percentage of residents living in poverty than the U.S. average: Saline (7.9%), Benton (9.1%), Lonoke (11.1%), Grant (12.2%) and Faulkner (13.4%). Following counties have the highest percentage of residents living in poverty: Phillips (39.8%), Lee (37.3%), St. Francis (33.7%), Chicot (30.1%) and Desha (29%).

MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME RISES
Median household income rose 1.1% to $43,813 in Arkansas for the period of 2013 to 2017, from the period of 2008 to 2012, according to the Arkansas Economic Development Institute. The institute based this on five-year estimates released Thursday (Dec. 6) by the Census Bureau.

Median household income rose in 58%, or 42 of 75 counties, and 17.3%, or 13 counties, had statistically significant increases. Following counties has a statistically significant decrease in the income: Ashley, Jefferson, Phillips and Pope.

Average, or mean, household income in Arkansas rose 4% to $61,330, from $58,999, according to the data. The state had 12 counties with an increase in mean household income, while it declined in Scott County.

Median family income rose 1.9%, or by $1,018, to $54,923. The state had 14 counties with an increase in median family income, while the income fell in Arkansas, Boone and Sebastian counties.

Average, or mean, family income rose 4.9%, or by $3,429, to $72,907. The state had 14 counties with a rise in mean family income, and it declined in Desha and Johnson counties.

Per capita income rose 3.8%, or by $886, to $24,526. The state had 16 counties (21.3%) with a rise in per capita income. It only fell in Lincoln County.

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